One Another Devotion - Day 25
The team gathered around the coach expecting him to draw up the winning play in the last 15 seconds of the game. The tension is palpable. What will the coach reveal? Can the team execute the play successfully? He tells them they have run through this play in practice several times. They know what to do. He sends them out on the court with a pronouncement of belief in their ability as well as confidence in their passion to finish well.
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another. . .” 1 Thessalonians 5;11, NASB
The church at Thessalonica seems to have a close connection with the writers of this book. Paul, Silas, and Timothy didn’t really set themselves apart with a title (Apostle) in the writing. It is said that they may have recently left the church to plant other churches. They were writing to their fellow sojourners in the faith. In fact, the threesome declared that they gave thanks to God every time they thought of this group of people. It seems there was a history of life together.
As the authors mention various topics throughout the letter, there is a sense of such care for the people. The authors describe being concerned enough for the people that they send Timothy back to see how the church is doing. Even when the people aren’t living as they had been taught, Paul lovingly calls them back to purity and faithfulness.
After reminding them about how they are to live, he tells them to encourage each other. While encouraging and building are similar in meaning, they work together to say “be comforted and yet come along to gritty growth”. It’s more than cheerleading. Its knowing there’s a plan laid out and the team is to live out the plan. Whether it’s Paul, the Thessalonians, Vineyard Community Church or you and me personally, we all are to call each other to stand up and fulfill the acts of comforting and challenging to the next step. Each effort finds an avenue to call the participant from where they are to complete what has been set in motion by God, Himself.
When the coach calls the play, the team has a chance to do what it knows to do. Every member adds to the effort. Every member of a community needs each other.
Questions to Ponder:
1. How have you stepped into the game and experienced gritty growth?
2. How do you receive comfort and exhorting to move on?
3. How important is it to know the person you are encouraging?